July 2nd, 2006


Saw Raiders of the Lost Ark today...

...at the Hollywood Cinema here in Portland. It's a new print and the screen is huge, so I got the full experience of seeing it as it was seen in '81. Great stuff.

It occurs to me that movies don't pull us along at a fast clip like that anymore. There is lots of movement and rapid cutting in current films, but there's a weaker causal relationship between successive events. In Raiders, events follow their causes in a crisp domino effect, instead of things happening arbitrarily like in today's action films. Maybe that's why Raiders holds our attention so well: dominoes falling in causal succession are more intriguing than dominoes being knocked over at random.

I also admired Spielberg's (or Kasdan's?) clever touches, like revealing the Nazi's burned palm when he salutes ("Sig Heil!"), instead of in some mundane way.

And isn't it comforting to know that Indiana Jones faced a snake on a plane decades before the upcoming Toby Emmerich film?